There’s a new game in town! It’s called texture and it’s FUN!
Basically, what your are doing is taking a photograph of an interesting texture, overlaying it on top of your existing picture and reducing the opacity of it so the original shows through. Adding textures to your photos is another thing that would require you to have Photoshop or any other photo program that allows you to add layers, adjust the opacity, erase and colorize.
Creating a textured photo can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. You can take just one texture, drag it onto your photo, reduce opacity and you are done. You can also add many different textures, manipulate the photo underneath, use different brushes to add effects, etc. The more you learn how to use PS, the more you can do to adjust the photo to what you see in your artist’s eye.
This is not something that is quick to do. I find that I generally take a lot of time in figuring out the layers to use and which opacity works and how much to erase. I also use different brushes on them, too. I use a similar process in creating a fantasy land photo manipulation.
Now, where does one get these textures? Well, there are places online that offer free photos you can download. Most of them are just photos that have interesting elements or textures that someone photographed. Can you do that yourself? Why yes you can!
Have a pile of leaves? Take a picture of it! A leather chair? Take a picture of it! Some rocks, tree bark, an open book, crumpled paper, brick, stucco, an old door??? Look around your house and see what would be an interesting texture.
Now, how does one put these picture into practice?
I like to start out with a picture that has a focal point. There is something in that shot I would like to draw attention, and it needs to have an area around it that can allow me to lay in texture and other elements to make it interesting. You can also use digital scrapbooking papers and elements in the same way.
Here is the SOOC shot that I chose:
This is what I did:
1. My basic processing.
2. I used the dodge tool to lighten the grass areas, and the desaturation tool to tone down the vibrant green.
3. I added a few textures on top, and erased around her. You don’t want the erasing to be too stark, so make sure the opacity on the brush is lower and the brush isn’t too big.
4. I added a hue/saturation layer and gave it a sepia tone. The textures come with their own colors, so I find you really have to do a color adjustment at the end or else you have a bunch of non-matching colors. Once I added the hue/saturation layer, I erased a bit around her to bring back some of the original color on Anya.
5. Next I added some fun swirls for the borders with different brushes. Deviantart.com has tons of free brushes. You just donwload them, unzip and put them in the brushes folder in PS. Make sure the program is not up or your will need to restart it to have the brushes show up. I always make sure to put them on a separate layer so I can adjust more easily.
6. Flatten layers and then it is done! Now this may not have seemed like it took many steps but it took me at least an hour. You are being artistic here, so it takes some time to figure out what looks right and what works. Sometimes you have to go back and start over. It’s a process. I’m still not sure I’m in love with how this turned out, but it is what is now. I didn’t have the energy to stare at the computer anymore…there’s lots of staring when you are trying to be artistic. 😉
Let me know if you have any questions!